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February Snowpack Strong in Colorado

Scott Bauer
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Snowmelt runoff fills a reservoir in the Rocky Mountains near Dillon, Colorado

February's snowstorms helped boost snowpack across the state as the trend of above-average conditions continued.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service says the snowpack statewide as of Tuesday was 115% of average.  While the Front Range has continued to see drier than normal conditions, February’s storms ended up being the most significant of the year.  The snowpack is expected to continue favorable conditions for spring and summer water supplies. 

“We get nearly ¾ of our annual surface water supplies from the melting snow that accumulates over the winter months in the mountains, so it’s critical that we get an average or near average supply every year, otherwise we have to rely more on reservoir storage,” says Snow Survey Supervisor Mike Gillespie.

A strong snowpack is critical, not just for the coming year, but for the future as well.

“In a year like this, we can not only have good runoff, but we can put more water into reservoir storage for coming dry years possibly. It’s important and we need these above average years to get us through some of the lean years.”

This year's snowpack totals in most basins are well above those last year. Only southwestern Colorado reported less snowpack than this time last year.